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Insignificance and Peace of Mind

Danielle LaPorte recently wrote about burning 20 years of her journals, which helped her say goodbye to the past but also to embrace the insignificance of her short time on the planet.

Remembering how insignificant you are helps you to be more daring, more honest, more … here.”

And it got me to thinking, why is it that I worry so much? Thinking, over-thinking, hashing and rehashing are my habits, my crutches for inaction. I’ve always been a worrier. I’ve always felt most comfortable being prepared. I have always practiced conversations, and now I try to write screenplays in my mind for meetings. To-do lists are my sanity. A hand-written calendar system, my grace.

I need a dose of the reality of that insignificance Danielle has claimed.

Right now I’m busy over-analyzing home ownership. Clearly weighing this possibility heavily, I have many, many questions. But at the end of the tiresome worrying, what is my actual fear? Am I afraid that my decision to buy a home will be life changing? {It probably will be, but it may not be a bad thing.} Do I or do I not, as a chronic commitment-phobe, commit to living in one spot… with {gasp!} roots?! What if I change my mind? How do you ever know where you want to “settle down” anyway? It’s hard to nail down your fear when it’s a little bit of all of that and quite a bit of nothing at all… just stalling.

And honestly, who the hell cares? So what if I change my mind? It’s not hurting anyone, and I will have learned some valuable lessons. Most notably, in my own courage.

And then I move on; career choices make my head spin. Do I go back to teaching {I was just awarded a 1-year license to teach in South Dakota}? A business all my own is my dream, and I’m working toward it, but it’s a long way from sustainable reality. This obsession with selling most of my possessions and moving into an RV is just a dream to avoid reality, right? Or is it?

My favorite parts of Danielle’s essay: I like knowing that most everything will never happen again. So let it go. 

I want my past to move through me like water. I want my ideal future to come to me as easily.

You get to make it all up anyway. History is malleable because memory is subjective.
Let’s make it up, and let all of the baggage of worry go. Because we’ve got to make it all up anyway. Remembering how insignificant you are helps you to be more daring, more honest, more … here.”  And while I’m far from daring, my goal here and in life is to be honest and present.

So here’s to insignificance.

And making it all up.

And letting it all go.

P.S. This whole idea of burning the past became utilitarian for me today as I slipped into the rarely visited rabbit hole of a folder in my Gmail account labeled “personal.” That folder was where I slipped away messages that were too painful to see constantly in my inbox. Now, it serves as little more than a time capsule of relationship angst and hurt feelings. Insignificant, at best. It’s already gone.
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